There is a point in your career when you need to decide if you will continue being the tech guy or if you are going to make the jump and become a manager.
Not as easy as it looks, not as hard as it might seem. But with definite consequences.
As one of the guys working with me said, programmers and tech guys don’t age well, I think his comment is spot on. Unless you are a super genius, technology moves so damn fast that most likely you are not going to age well.
But if you chose the management path, you might find out that it was your calling or you will be unhappy navigating politically heavy waters, management decisions that you will not always like, budget constrictions, lack of resources, power battles or any combinations.
To me the worst part was realizing that the team I belonged to was not as good or efficient as I previously thought.
Money through my new responsibility of having to come up with budgets becomes a very powerful way of understanding the real value of my decisions, including having to chose the right people and letting go the ones that are not up to the task or they got stuck in the past.
In this new reality is not anymore about making things work at the technical level, is making things work at every possible level, which has way more variables and as a defense mechanism you become less sensitive and compassionate, thicker skin.
So choosing the path determine your future, well nothing new there, but at the end of the day, understanding that your decision will determine your day to day for years to come is crucial. In my case I loved being involved in all the technical aspects of the operation, positioning the company to be more efficient and competitive, spend hours and hours figuring out how to integrate, simplify and operationalize the new technologies was something I loved.
Now I know that I was able to do that because there was another person doing what I do now, which is getting the approvals, selling the upper management the ideas and getting the money.
So do I love what I do now?
Yes and no, it is harder less stressful in a way, or different stress. The stress of dealing with an Exchange server not delivering messages is gone but in the new job the stress comes form having so many balls in the air, understanding new needs that requires substantial implementations with complex changes and complex implementations, exciting but complex.
Bottom line my tech days are gone and belong to the past I can’t conceive going back but I still long having the illusion that I had things under control my reality was more binary and now I deal with Qbits